Barbra Streisand came under the microscope Friday after she commented on the subjects of the Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland in an interview with The Times of London.
Asked whether she believes Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who accused Jackson of sexually abusing them for a number of years when they were children, Streisand replied, "Oh absolutely. That was too painful." The singer and actress went on to describe Jackson as "very sweet, very childlike" when she met him a couple of times in person.
Considering the documentary's depiction of Jackson, she said, “His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has. You can say ‘molested’, but those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
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When asked whether she feels angry with Jackson, Streisand emphasized a "combination of feelings" about the accusations, noting that she feels bad for the children as well as Jackson. "I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him. Why would Michael need these little children dressed like him and in the shows and the dancing and the hats?”
Streisand went on to talk briefly about the #MeToo movement, which she considers to be "very powerful," [but] unfortunately, it’s going to cause a lot of women not being hired because men are worried that they’ll be attacked."
Much of the debate around Dan Reeds documentary has centered on whether viewers believed the emotional, clearly personally painful accusations levied by subjects Wade Robson and James Safechuck, both of whom laid out, in explicit detail, how Jackson allegedly groomed and took advantage of them when they were children. Jacksons family denies them, certainly, and his most vociferous supporters refuse, as always, to be swayed. The effects on less partisan viewers were such, though, that a number of radio stations, and even TV shows, have moved to cut ties with the musician and his estate.
Which brings us, in roundabout fashion, to Jacksons fellow musical celebrity, Barbra Streisand, who absolutely believes Robson and Safechuck. But also, really: Was being sexually assaulted by a world-famous musician really so damaging to their lives?
Thats the extremely rough takeaway from an interview Streisand gave to The Times this week, wherein she responded to questions about Neverland with a truly baffling mixture of sympathy and Bygones be bygones, huh? cheerfulness. Lets jump right to the worst bit, shall we?
You can say molested, Streisand started, ominously, but those children, as you heard them say [the grown-up Robson and Safechuk], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didnt kill them.
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Indeed, it did not kill them, and, indeed, they did, as young children, derive some excitement and material benefits from the extremely rich, extremely famous person lavishing them with attention, praise, and gifts as part of a long-term process to (allegedly) sexually assault them. That, presumably is why Jackson lavished said gifts and attention, although on the subject of his motivations, Streisand also has some thoughts: His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has.
In the interview, Streisand—who only knew Jackson in passing—is fairly forgiving of his accused intention of using his status and power to take sexual advantage of Robson and Safechuck (who were children), stating, Its a combination of feelings. I feel bad for the children. I feel bad for him. I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him.
Ohashi has long been an advocate for survivors of sexual assault. Last year, she wrote and performed a poem both to raise awareness about sexual assault and to show solidarity with the hundreds of victims of former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
Barbra Streisand sympathizes with Michael Jackson: His sexual needs were his sexual needs
Reactions to Streisands statements have been expected, which is to say, absolutely livid, given the degree of compassion Streisand is offering to the extremely powerful man that she also fully believes used said power to molest children. We can only imagine that shell soon try to somehow remove these comments from the internet, but that, of course, is a proven impossibility.